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Ronde Barber, Bucs all-time games leader, announces retirement

4:53 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber

 

Tampa, Florida -- If you want a picture of durability, ability, and loyalty -- just picture number 20 running onto the field.

Ronde Barber, the man who has put on a Buccaneers jersey more than anyone else, officially hung it up for good Thursday afternoon.

Barber is ending his career after 16 NFL seasons, all in Tampa Bay.

He was already a veteran when he became a key to the Bucs getting to -- and winning -- the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season. He's the last member of that Super Bowl defense still with the squad.

That was ten years ago, and even last season he was still playing at a high level, leading the team in interceptions. Last year, he passed legend Derrick Brooks for most games played all time as a Buccaneer.

In fact, he's been around longer than a lot of things.

He joined the Buccaneers in 1997. That's before Google existed, before the first Harry Potter book was published, and before the Tampa Bay Rays ever took the field.

In an interview with J.P. Peterson of 620 WDAE about a month ago, Barber said even in retirement, Tampa will be his home.

Barber made the decision to retire himself. The Bucs had filled in several defensive back positions, but they did still have a role available for him if he wanted to come back.

Could Ronde Barber be headed to Hall of Fame? Consider this:

He hasn't missed a start in 13 years. That's a record for defensive backs.

He's the only player in NFL history with more than 40 interceptions and more than 20 sacks.

He was chosen for five Pro Bowls.

And he was a critical part of the Tampa 2 style of defense that has now left a mark on every level of football.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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